Posts tagged with "OMA":

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Facebook and OMA team up for Menlo Park master plan

Today social media giant Facebook announced it had tapped international firm OMA to master plan its Willow Campus, a mixed-use neighborhood that will be located next to the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Shohei Shigematsu, the partner who helms OMA's New York office, will lead the design. “It’s exciting to collaborate with Facebook, whose innovation in networking and social media extends to urban ambitions for connectivity in the Bay Area," said Shigematsu in a release. "The Willow Campus masterplan creates a sense of place with diverse programming that responds to the needs of the Menlo Park community. The site has the potential to impact the future of regional transportation, housing, and environment." Facebook first moved to Menlo Park in 2011, with Frank Gehry designing a major 434,000-square-foot expansion a few years later. In terms of this latest round, said John Tenanes, Facebook's VP of global faculties and real estate, "our goal for the Willow Campus is to create an integrated, mixed-use village that will provide much needed services, housing, and transit solutions as well as office space. Part of our vision is to create a neighborhood center that provides long-needed community services. We plan to build 125,000 square feet of new retail space, including a grocery store, pharmacy, and additional community-facing retail." Housing and regional transportation will both figure prominently into this master plan. Tenanes said that this development will see 1,500 units of housing built, with 15 percent listed at below market rates. Having housing on site will hopefully reduce traffic, he continued, while also adding that "Willow Campus will be an opportunity to catalyze regional transit investment by providing planned density sufficient to support new east-west connections and a future transit center. We’re investing tens of millions of dollars to improve US101." (As Tenanes noted in the press release, this isn't Facebook's first foray into affordable housing.) Tenanes stated that Facebook and OMA will file a plan with the City of Menlo Park this month. From there, they will "begin more formal conversations with local government officials and community organizations over the course of the review process, which we expect to last approximately two years." He estimates construction will occur in several phases, with "the first to include the grocery, retail, housing and office completed in early 2021, and subsequent phases will take two years each to complete."
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Rendering LOL: How architects are absurdly using Calder sculptures

Why do so many architects use Alexander Calder sculptures in their renderings, even when the works have nothing to do with the institution or project depicted? The Calder Foundation has been tracking this phenomenon, and the results are featured in the slideshow above.  A new exhibition at the Whitney Museum in New York explores mobiles—kinetic sculptures in which carefully balanced components reveal their own unique systems of movement—created by American sculptor Alexander Calder from 1930 until 1968, eight years before his death. Running through October 23, the exhibition features almost 40 sculptures, including three that served as models for possible architectural commissions. In addition, Alexander S. C. Rower, who is the sculptor’s grandson and head of the Calder Foundation, will bring one of three motorized maquettes Calder created as proposals for the 1939 New York World’s Fair to the Whitney later this summer for a temporary viewing and activation.
Other Calder works on display that were designed for architectural projects include Octopus and The Helices, both made in 1944 as part of a series of bronze works Calder envisioned as 40-foot monuments and created for an International Style architectural project proposed by Wallace K. Harrison. Interestingly, more recently, many well-established architects have used Calder’s works to illustrate renderings of their own designs, often without the Calder Foundation’s permission. OMA in particular apparently finds Calder’s sculptures perfect for its projects: It used his 1973 Crinkly with a Red Disc, actually in the collection of the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, in Germany, in its rendering of the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture in Moscow. The rendering for the firm’s Park Grove condos in Miami pilfered Calder’s 1973 Flamingo, which actually sits in Federal Plaza in Chicago, while the rendering for 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, D.C., by OMA and OLIN, features the same sculpture. Other architectural firms that favor Calder’s works in their renderings include Ateliers Jean Nouvel, whose 53 W. 53rd Street project in Manhattan features Calder’s 1961 Sumac, actually in a private collection. Shigeru Ban Architects used Calder’s 1971 The Eagle, now at the Seattle Art Museum, and his 1972 Trepied rouge et noir in renderings for, respectively, the Tainan Museum of Fine Arts in Taiwan and Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport in Japan. Renzo Piano Building Workshop (which designed The Whitney’s current home in Manhattan’s meatpacking district), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, SOM, and Studio Libeskind also find the display of Calder’s works an attractive way to promote their concepts. Calder’s works reside today in some major venues: In addition to the sculptures in Federal Plaza in Chicago and at the Seattle Art Museum, the home of his Five Swords is Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, N.Y. Asked about contemporary architects’ practice of borrowing—to put it politely—images of Calder’s works to illustrate their designs, Rower said that during the artist’s lifetime, Calder was friendly with Mies van der Rohe, Josep Lluís Sert, Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer and Wallace K. Harrison, and “frenemies” with Frank Lloyd Wright. As the first artist commissioned to make a public sculpture by the General Services Administration, he said Calder was “the obvious go-to for architects designing new buildings or plazas. Given this history, it comes as no surprise to me that, even today, he is the most prolific artist depicted in architectural renderings. His iconic vocabulary is instantly recognizable; thus, contemporary architects use his imagery to suggest the superior qualities of their projects.” “The genius of Calder’s work,” Rower added, “is that it transforms space—and our experience of it—in real time. While his great invention, the mobile, does this in an overt way—performing in front of us and literally embodying movement—Calder’s stabiles (stationary sculptures) imply movement and affect how we encounter surrounding plazas, facades or even natural landscapes. Architects intuitively understand that effect, and are excited by the prospect of how a Calder sculpture can deepen the experience of whatever space they are designing.” “As long as it’s done in a respectful way,” Rower admitted that rendering actual Calder works that have not been manipulated “is gratifying. I’m interested in Calder’s works in architectural mock-ups—allowing me to imagine his sculptures in many different settings and contexts. And it’s rewarding that Calder remains a favorite amongst architects.”
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New RFK memorial project launched for D.C.’s RFK Stadium complex

The start of a new memorial project for assassinated U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy at Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium was announced by the District of Columbia's Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, the senator’s family members, and Events DC, on May 17. The memorial project is part of an overall plan for the RFK Stadium complex, a $500 million project spearheaded by New York City–based OMA. The proposal involves demolishing the current stadium and its parking lots, transforming the site into a 350,000-square-foot recreation and sports complex complete with three ball fields and a 47,000-square-foot market selling groceries. The memorial will honor the late senator, serving “as a place of remembrance and a place of teaching and practicing the civil rights and equality ideals Robert F. Kennedy championed,” Events DC said in a statement to The Washington Post. The 190-acre site sits on federal government land and will be tied to neighboring Kingman Island and the River Terrace neighborhood by three new pedestrian bridges. Events DC, the city’s official convention and sports authority, will be funding half of the project while city, hotel tax revenue, and team leases will cover the rest. “On behalf of my family, we are delighted… to begin this journey… in tribute to my late grandfather,” Maeve Kennedy McKean, the senator’s granddaughter said in the Events DC statement. “My grandfather lived his life every day in the service of others.” Officials hope that the redevelopment of the new stadium site and the memorial will begin and finish over the next five to seven years, according to Events DC. The D.C. United soccer club currently occupies the stadium and will continue to do so for another year, until the new BIG-designed stadium is completed.
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OMA unveils sliced design for Boston Seaport

OMA's New York office has unveiled renderings for a 490,000-square-foot mixed-use retail and office project in Boston—OMA's first in the city. The project will be located in the Boston Seaport and is being backed by Massachusetts-based WS Development. The developer has coalesced around a number of esteemed firms, notably Sasaki, NADAAA, and James Corner Field Operations as the firm looks to invest in the area, plotting a wider 1.3 million-square-foot scheme. Officially known by its address at 88 Seaport, the project is set to offer a series of cascading terraces that form part of a dramatic, angled slice through the structure about a third of the way up. This cut-through transcends down from a mid-level balcony through the building towards the street corner, with its angularity encouraging views up and into the cantilevered structure. 88 Seaport is also orientated toward Boston's Fan Pier Green and the water’s edge, and while its windows are recessed, the render depicts floor-to-ceiling fenestration which will maximize views out. The building will rise to 18 floors and provide almost 425,000 square feet of office space. Meanwhile, 60,000 square feet will be designated for retail on the first two levels. Finally, 5,000 square feet will be allocated for civic and cultural use. Shohei Shigematsu, a partner at OMA who spearheads the firm's New York office, said in a press release that "[it’s] exciting to engage with the innovation migration to the Seaport District, and work with WS Development on a building positioned to be the nexus between historic Fort Point and the emerging waterfront developments. Our design for 88 Seaport slices the building into two volumes, creating distinct responses for each urban scale of old and new, while also accommodating diverse office typologies for diverse industries with demands for traditional and alternative floorplates. The slice also generates an opportunity to draw in the district’s public domains, linking the waterfront and Fan Pier Green with a continuous landscape." The project is expected to break ground next year with completion planned for 2020.
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New renderings unveiled for Mia Lehrer + Associates and OMA’s FaB Park in L.A.

Designs for the forthcoming First and Broadway (FaB) Park by Mia Lehrer + Associates (MLA) and Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) have been reconfigured to address community desires of Downtown Los Angeles residents. The new designs, portrayed in a collection of new renderings, depict a more leafy proposal for the two acre park than was originally proposed. The original design featured a central plaza flanked by groves of native plantings, sunken terraces, and a 100,000-square-foot food pavilion. The proposal was also dotted with large-scale shade structures and contained a small creek at its southwest corner. The new iteration of the project features a greater number of trees and shade structures, according to the renderings. The scheme also features a new 10,000-square-foot meadow that grows out of the creek bed, which had been retained in a reconfigured shape. The designers have also improved the food pavilion by adding a rooftop terrace and shade pavilion beside the structure. The two-story structure will host a restaurant, though a vendor has not been selected and there are community concerns regarding the future restaurant’s affordability. The project is expected to break ground in 2018 and be completed by 2020.
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OMA’s initial plans for a Miami condo complex were hilariously below par

This post is part of our years-long running Eavesdrop series (think page 6 for the architectural field). It’s your best source for gossip, insider stories, and more. Have an eavesdrop of your own? Send it to: eavesdrop[at]archpaper.com.

In related Related Group news, The Architect's Newspaper is hearing that when OMA submitted its plans for the three-tower Park Grove condo complex in Miami’s Coconut Grove, the initial submission was hilariously below par. Because OMA had not done very much housing, the original RFQ contained some of Rem Koolhaas’s earliest conceptual housing schemes. When the designs for Park Grove were delivered to Related, they had no closets and the kitchens were too small. It took a collaboration with a local, condo-experienced architect to get them up to speed. It worked out, however, Park Grove is now over halfway done: Two Park Grove and the Club Residences recently topped off, and One Park Grove is expected to break ground in 2018.

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Controversial OMA development in Santa Monica scaled down

Plans for a long-delayed and controversial mixed-use project by OMA in Santa Monica, California have changed once again. OMA’s Plaza at Santa Monica development—a project that, if built, would be the firm’s largest work in Los Angeles to date—is to be located on city-owned land and will contain a flurry of programming, including a hotel, affordable housing, creative office, and retail spaces. The mixed-use project, originally pitched in 2014, has been dogged by outcry from anti-growth community activists who take issue with the project’s size and density and would rather see the 2.57-acre site used to house a neighborhood park. According to information presented on the project website, the development—as newly proposed—will contain 280 hotel rooms, 48 units of affordable housing, 106,000-square-feet of creative offices, and 12,000-square-feet of cultural space. Santa Monica Lookout reports that the project is also designed to contain a grand plaza facing the ocean, two street-level pocket parks along its perimeter, and an elevated terrace park. One of those pocket parks is being designed to contain an ice skating rink. In total, the newly re-proposed project will bring roughly 2.86-acres of open space to the area, including the elevated terrace. The new changes represent a modest downsizing for the project: While previous iterations had risen up to 148-feet in height, the new proposals bring the tallest point of the project to 129 feet. The project also includes 200,000 fewer square feet of retail space and more hotel rooms than it did prior to the changes, up from 225 rooms initially. Renderings for the project depict a staggered stack of rectilinear building blocks that rise in height from a single story alongside the grand plaza to roughly 12-stories high toward the back of the site. The shifting building masses create roof terraces and covered outdoor loggia as they rise and are wrapped in glass curtain walls on all sides. Community members have until March 2 to review new renderings of the project. See the City of Santa Monica’s website for more information on the project.
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OMA reveals design for sports complex around RFK Stadium

Even if the Redskins keep their name and leave D.C., the city is taking steps to ensure the area around RFK Stadium offers ample space for residents to play, too.

Events D.C., the city's semi-independent convention and sports authority, has unveiled plans to replace the ocean of surface parking that fronts the soon-to-be-demolished stadium with recreation space and a food market. The whole scheme, pictured in the gallery above, is designed by New York–based OMA.

The estimated $500 million proposal includes three ballfields (two for baseball, one for youth soccer), a 350,000-square-foot recreation and sports complex, and a 47,000-square-foot market selling groceries and concessions. According to the Washington Post, the sports center will host bowling, go-kart, and video-game facilities; a memorial to Robert F. Kennedy will be installed nearby, as well. To tie the programming together, three pedestrian bridges will connect the site to Kingman and Heritage islands.

“The RFK Stadium Armory-Campus—currently under-utilized—is poised to be transformed into a vibrant place that connects D.C. to the Anacostia River," OMA partner Jason Long told the Washington Business Journal. "Working together with Events D.C., we have formulated a plan that strategically locates new facilities that will draw people to and through the site, while refining the vision for larger redevelopments in the years ahead.”

As the 190-acre site is owned by the federal government, federal and local agencies must approve the plan before any shovels hit the soil. Half of the project will be funded by Events D.C. while the city, hotel tax revenue, and team leases will pay for the rest.

Although the Redskins moved to the suburbs years ago, the team is scoping sites for a move—maybe to D.C., or maybe not, if the team refuses to change its racist name. Regardless, the D.C. Zoning Commission gave its initial blessings to the BIG-designed stadium last month, and the commission is expected to give its final okay for the project at its February meeting. Right now, Major League Soccer's (MLS) D.C. United plays at the stadium, and it will continue to play tournaments on-site until the new stadium is complete in 1–2 years.

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OMA-designed Faena Forum opens in Miami

OMA designed three buildings nestled between Miami Beach’s famous Collins Avenue and Indian Creek Drive in Mid-Beach. The project is a significant contribution to the Faena District, a $1.2 billion project covering six blocks and integrating dynamic cultural, residential, hotel, retail, culinary, and public environments.

OMA’s structures are all governed by independent programs: the Faena Forum with flexible theater uses, the Bazaar that retrofits a historic hotel with curated retail and event programming, and a state-of-the-art car park. Shohei Shigematsu, partner at OMA and the director of its New York office, led design efforts on the project.

A central focus of the new district is the Forum, which opened on November 27. The building is composed of two volumes—a cylinder and a cube—that are similar in size and can be combined or subdivided to support any type of production, from projects and commissions to performances, exhibitions, and events. A circular stair that descends from an impressive 46-foot cantilever denotes the main entrance. This leads up into the lobby of the building, which the architects elevated in response to concerns over rising sea levels. The design move freed up ground-floor space for loading functions and helped to provide a canopy along Collins Avenue. The architects explained that this extended the public domain into and under the building. Shigematsu said the formal strategy of the Forum’s radiused, cantilevered facade was inspired by the firm’s research into urban planning principles. “The Forum’s circular plan enables the public domain to expand, activating pedestrian movement within the district,” he said. “A 45-foot cantilever allows the landscaped plaza to slip under the Forum along Collins, providing a dramatic sense of arrival.”

Faena Forum 3300-3398 Collins Avenue Miami Beach, FL Tel: 305-534-8800 Architect: OMA

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Faena Forum by OMA opens in Miami Beach

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Editor's Note: Our Facades+ Miami conference will take place January 26th and 27th at the Faena Forum. OMA partner and designer of the building Shohei Shigematsu will be the keynote speaker. Space is still available, register here Rotterdam-based OMA has designed three buildings nestled within a narrow plot of land between Miami Beach's famous Collins Avenue and Indian Creek Drive in Mid-Beach. The project is a significant contribution to the Faena District, a $1.2 billion project covering six blocks and integrating dynamic cultural, residential, hotel, retail, culinary, and public environments. OMA's structures are all governed by independent programs: a Forum with flexible theater uses, a Bazaar that retrofits a historic hotel with curated retail and event programming, and a state-of-the-art car park. The project responds urbanistically to two frontages: the luxurious private residential character of Indian Creek to the west, and the active public cityscape of Collins Avenue and public beaches to the east. Shohei Shigematsu, partner at OMA and the director of their New York office, led design efforts on the project. He commented: “Our creative partnership with Faena began with identity research and has evolved into urban design, programming, building-making, and scenography. These diverse investigations had a profound impact on the Forum's ability to accommodate the programmatic demands of functioning as a new typology for interaction."
  • Facade Manufacturer Giovanni Monti & Partners (GMP)
  • Architects OMA, Revuelta Architecture International, PA (Architect of Record)
  • Facade Installer Giovanni Monti & Partners (GMP)
  • Facade Consultants IBA Consultants, Inc. (Exterior Building Envelope); Reginald Hough Associates (Architectural Concrete Consultant); DeSimone Consulting Engineers (Structural Engineer)
  • Location Miami, FL
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System reinforced concrete structural facade (Faena Forum); precast concrete (Faena Park)
  • Products Limestone plaster ultra-high-performance cladding with finish by Thermochromex; Steel facade system and Special System for Fixed Windows by Schuco
A central focus of the new district is Faena Forum, which opened to the public this week. The building is composed of two volumes—a cylinder and a cube— that are similar in size and can be combined or subdivided to support any type of production, from projects and commissions to performances, exhibitions, and events. The main entrance is denoted by a circular stair that descends from an impressive 46-foot cantilever. This leads up into the lobby of the building, which the architects elevated in response to concerns over rising sea levels. The design move freed up ground floor space for loading functions and helped to provide a canopy along Collins Avenue. The architects say this extended the public domain into and under the building. Shigematsu said the formal strategy of the Forum's radiused cantilevered facade was inspired by the firm's research into urban planning principles. “The Forum’s circular plan enables the public domain to expand, activating pedestrian movement within the district. A 45-foot cantilever allows the landscaped plaza to slip under the Forum along Collins, providing a dramatic sense of arrival.” The Forum's cantilever and the flexible interior programming are achieved through the structural system of the building, which is essentially a reinforced concrete structural skin. Shigematsu said the unique geometry of the facade is the resultant of arches and catenary curves along stress lines generated by the main entryway cantilever: "There is a logical force movement across the facade." This curvilinear geometry was overlaid with an orthogonal lateral load bracing grid in response to hurricane-strength design loads. The resulting performative patterning of the facade yielded 360 uniquely shaped voids that were infilled with custom glazed units. This system extends onto the cube volume where diagonal bracing picked up on structural forces generated from the cylinder's volume. "There are many ways to structurally achieve a cantilever through grids but we thought these arches looked more organic like sea shells and palm trees, so we thought this was quite fitting to Miami Beach's lush nature,” said Shigematsu. Set at the opposite end of the development site, Faena Park is OMA's other new construction addition to the district. The building is a state-of-the-art parking structure with a capacity for 81 cars, as well as retail spaces at the street and top level. The 28,000 square foot structure features a mechanical system with parking lifts that stacks cars two per space for maximum efficiency. An exposed glass shaftway on 35th street reveals the vehicular and passenger movement within the building’s structure. Shigematsu said the unique automated system of car parking interested the design team: "We are quite interested in the performance of a building, so we love this kind of mechanical building." The precast concrete facade features angled perforations allowing for ventilation and controlled views, subtlety reflecting the color of cars parked within. The panels were specified in three patterning configurations—opaque, inset, and outset—and are distributed onto the facade in correlation to programmatic activity. Due to Miami's high water table, a specialized "bathtub construction" allows for continuous parking underground to support valet parking, increasing parking capacity by over 150 cars. Bookended between Faena Forum and Faena Park is a historic Atlantic Beach Hotel, which was built in 1939 and designed by prominent Miami Beach architect Roy France, whose work includes the Saxony and Versailles. Scheduled to open in Spring 2017, OMA’s design preserves the building’s original facade details, while inserting a new intimate central courtyard, unified by privacy screen and a penthouse terrace with views to the Atlantic Ocean. The privacy screen doubles as a brise-soleil and is assembled from simple aluminum channel extrusions. The architects say this assembly helps to define the new courtyard as a negative volume within the existing building. Shigematsu said OMA's contribution to the Faena District was inspired by the urbanism of the Miami Beach site: "As a firm, we always like to have a sense of urbanism reflected in the building. So actually, making three buildings next to each other with three different programs was very easy, in a way, because you can actually produce a dialogue you have full control over. The historical structure that we preserved added authenticity to the project. It looks like an organic growth of the neighborhood." Also in the Faena District, across the street, is a new tower by Foster and Partners. OMA's project was designed roughly concurrently with the tower, and Shigematsu said that responding directly to Foster's building was not a priority, although there was an interest in unifying the buildings of the neighborhood though landscape design, paving and public art. "I think the dialog between our Forum, Foster's tower, and the hotel is actually quite interesting. In the end, Foster's balconies have a round profile, and our building [the Forum] is round, and the historic hotel has a curvature on the main facade."
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Studio Gang and OMA among architects competing to redesign Tour Montparnasse in Paris

A list of seven firms (three French and four international) have been selected by the Ensemble Immobilier Tour Maine-Montparnasse (EITMM) as part of the second round of a competition to redesign the much-maligned Montparnasse Tower in Paris. Built in 1973, the 690-foot (59 story) high-rise has been the regular subject of scorn from Parisians and architects alike. Now Dutch studio OMA; British practice, PLP; French architect Dominique Perrault, and Chicago firm Studio Gang among others are in the running to take on the tower's redesign. Known as the Tour Montparnasse, the building changed city planning policy after its completion 33 years ago. Buildings in the French capital were banned from rising above seven stories two years after it was constructed, a policy that has allowed the skyscraper to remain as Paris's tallest building. The full list of firms vying to re-imagine the tower can be found below: The list of seven came from a list of more than 700 firms that entered the first phase of EITMM's competition. In a press release, one stakeholder said the seven agencies were selected for their "reliability, expertise, audacity and their understanding of the challenges we face." Now the competition has briefed the chosen seven with submitting a proposal that will supply a "powerful, innovative, dynamic and ambitious new identity to the famous Parisian landmark, whilst integrating the challenges of usage, comfort and energy performance to the highest levels." These proposals are due in March 2017. The competition's third stage will see this list whittled down to two finalists from which a winner will be announced in July next year. The project is due to cost $326 million with one-third of this being privately financed by Tour Montparnasse's co-owners. Construction is set to start in 2019, being completed by 2023. Jean-Louis Missika, deputy to the Mayor of Paris, in charge of urban planning, architecture and economic development for the Greater Paris project, said: "We are delighted with this varied and audacious selection of architects which promises a great diversity of ideas, approaches, and innovations for the transformation of the Montparnasse Tower, the initial stage in the renovation of the whole area."
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Potential clients reportedly fear BIG is too BIG, pick smaller firms instead

This post is part of our years-long running Eavesdrop series (think page 6 for the architectural field). It's your best source for gossip, insider stories, and more. Have an eavesdrop of your own? Send it to: eavesdrop[at]archpaper.com.

Sources close to the juries for two recent invited competitions tell The Architect's Newspaper that in both cases, smaller firms—SHoP and OMA—were chosen over Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) because the jurors believed that the firm's top dog, Mr. Ingels himself, might be more focused on the WTC 2, the Google headquarters, the project formerly known as the Big U, and the Hyperloop. They are concerned that he might not have time to pay much attention to other, smaller projects. The suspicions may come as a surprise to Rem Koolhaas, for whom Ingels worked in his early career.